My employee stole supplies – do I have to fire him?

I caught one of my top employees stealing office supplies and selling them online. I was stunned and when confronted with this he was very apologetic and begged for his job. He said he was in a very tight financial situation and was desperate for money. The obvious thing would be to let him go, but I feel sorry for him. Am I crazy for thinking about not firing him?

I wouldn’t say crazy – I think you’re a sensitive soul who likes to see the best in people.

However, it’s not like it’s “Les Misérables” and he’s Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his child.

He started an online business selling business supplies on the black market. (OK, eBay, but still!)

Even if his financial distress is true, I have a hard time understanding that kind of planning and resolution.

I cannot imagine not dismissing this person under these circumstances.

People who work in cubicles.
There’s no harm in sharing your case for working from home more productively.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Back to the office means back to annoying colleagues and their habits. I was much more productive at home than in this open space. What do you think about offering a pay cut if I can work from home again?

This is about employers being careful about what they want.

Not many employees romanticize about what it was like to commute to work every day and then work side-by-side with others in cramped office spaces.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with proposing an alternative job to your employer where you’re willing to trade something like your current salary for convenience, especially since it’s all in the name of productivity gains, not productivity gains.

Present your project professionally without getting angry with your colleagues.

This gives you a better chance of success.

Of course, it also helps if you’re a top talent that your boss is afraid of losing.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a Human Resources Manager. Listen to Greg Wed at 9:35 iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. Email: Follow: and on Twitter: @GregGiangrande

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing

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